Reigning ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 29, of Australia and Vietnam had to cut weight in his bid to become a three-division world champion. Recently, he has shared his thoughts about his recent loss to Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 30, of the Philippines, who is now the reigning ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion.
“I was naïve,” Nguyen admitted. “I thought the weight cut was not going to be an issue, but it played out in the fight.”
“I did not feel tired,” the Vietnamese-Australian two-division world champion added. “I could have gone another five rounds, but with my toe, it just came to a point where my reactions were off, and Kevin’s speed was impeccable. I could not adjust, and everything just came into play.”
Nguyen first tried to wrestle the ONE Bantamweight World Championship from reigning champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes, 38, of Brazil at “ONE: Iron Will” in Bangkok, Thailand on March 24, 2018 only to lose via split decision. On July 27, 2018, Nguyen failed to capture the crowned ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship after losing to Belingon at “ONE: Reign of Kings” in Manila, Philippines.
For Nguyen, it was an invaluable experience getting to test his skills against arguably the two best names in the bantamweight division today. Now, he believes that the smart move is to stay in the heavier weight divisions.
“It was a good learning curve and a good experience overall,” Nguyen said. “But I will stick to my roots where my body feels stronger and more comfortable.”
Currently, Nguyen holds a professional mixed martial arts record of 11 wins and 3 losses. Before losing to Fernandes and Belingon, the Vietnamese-Australian fighter lost to former ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov, 33, of Russia.
Watch the bout between Nguyen and Belingon here: